Lucas Duda: The Mets Most Pleasant Surprise in 2014

Nobody wanted Ike Davis patrolling the first base bag at Citi Field this year more than me. In several posts over the off-season I outlined my arguments why I believed that if the Mets chose to go within the organization at first base it made baseball sense that Davis was their man.

lucas duda home runRecent history with losing Beltran and Reyes and Dickey readied me to lose Ike as well. Making the sting more painful was the fact that I had watched Lucas Duda over long stints in Binghamton and I just didn’t believe he had the baseball skills or the internal compass to fill the first base void.

Based on the first half results of 2014, it’s looking more and more like I’m due a healthy serving of ‘crow.’

There can be no argument Lucas Duda for the Mets has outplayed Ike Davis for the Pirates. And, although Davis seems stuck in first gear in Pittsburgh, Duda seems to be growing in confidence in his unchallenged role as the Met first baseman. From what I understand, crow is a foul tasting bird. It always makes one queasy admitting that strong felt beliefs just may have been wrong, but my serving of crow will only leave a tinge of aftertaste should Duda continue his solid play at first base for the Mets.

After initially, starting very slowly at the plate, Duda has recently settled in. The Met first baseman is tied with Curtis Granderson for the most home runs on the team with 14, leads the team with 49 runs batted in, leads the regular position players with a .356 on-base-percentage and has the highest slugging percentage among all of the Met regulars.

Going into this series against the Mariners, Duda has reached base safely in 20 of his last 22 games, hitting .307 (23-75) during that span with a .409 on-base percentage. He has been very adept at driving in runs this season, and is seventh in the NL with an RBI every 5.9 at-bats.

In addition Duda has been surprisingly nimble around the first base bag.

That produces an output that was totally unexpected by me, thus my ‘crow dinner’ and Lucas Duda’s designation as the New York Mets most pleasant surprise in the first half of the 2014 baseball season.

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About John Bernhardt 164 Articles
MMO Minor League Analyst John Bernhardt is a retired public school teacher and administrator, who still coaches high school baseball. Growing up in a Yankees household, Bernhardt was an ardent Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra fan. When the Yankees fired Yogi in his first season as the Bomber manager, curiosity turned to passion when the Mets signed Berra as a player/coach and he has pulled for the Mets ever since. In retirement, John writes the sports for a local weekly, The Catskill Mountain News and hosts Tip-Off, a Friday morning sports hour, from 8:00-9:00 on WIOX, 91.3 F.M.